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New Zealand sides too good in PRC Underline 05 March, 2011 The IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2011 kicked off its New Zealand Series on Friday with Tonga A and Fiji Warriors finding the Chiefs Development side and Crusader Knights too hot to handle respectively.

The fourth round of the new-look competition will conclude on Saturday when Samoa A, who lead the standings on point differential from the Warriors, take on a Hurricanes Development XV at Porirua Park.

CRUSADER KNIGHTS 55-7 AIR PACIFIC FIJI WARRIORS

The opening match of the New Zealand Series saw the Crusader Knights prove too strong across the park for the Air Pacific Fiji Warriors, running out convincing 55-7 winners at Carisbrook.

In a match moved to the Dunedin venue following last week’s devastating earthquake in Christchurch, the Knights ran in seven tries against a side which had won two and lost one of their matches on Australian soil last month.

The Crusader Knights opened the scoring with wing Johnny McNicholl’s ninth minute try, but their visitors hit back quickly with centre Ravai Fataki touching down to make it 7-7 as the match shaped up to be an even contest.

However, the clinical approach of the New Zealand side, featuring a number of Baby Blacks who won the IRB Junior World Championship title last year, ultimately proved too much for the flair of the Pacific Islanders.

Both sides displayed plenty of endeavour throughout, with fly halves Taniela Maravunawasawasa and Tyler Bleyendaal looking to release the players outside, although the Knights had better execution and were deserving winners.

Full back Sam Monaghan, centre Sione Holani and captain Luke Whitelock all crossed for first half tries as the Crusader Knights began to pull clear of the Warriors to establish a commanding 31-7 advantage at the break.

The Crusader Knights picked up where they had left off with McNicholl claiming his second try of the afternoon within minutes of the restart, before prop Andrew Olorenshaw scored either side of a try from second row Luke Romano.

CHIEFS DEVELOPMENT 50-13 TONGA A

Tonga A arrived in New Zealand buoyed by their first victory of the new-look IRB Pacific Rugby Cup earlier this week, but found the Chiefs Development side too hot to handle in losing 50-13 at the Bayer Growers Stadium in Pukekohe.

The match was played in pouring rain, resulting in the early exchanges being dominated by handling errors with both sides finding it difficult to hang on to the slippery ball as the Tongans kept their hosts at bay with some solid defence.

Trent Renata, a former New Zealand Under 20 star, missed a 14th minute penalty attempt, before Tonga A launched a promising break, only to see the space shut down and the Chiefs Development team work their down field for number 8 Matt vant Leven to score the opening try.

The Chiefs Development team then began to take control with centre Phil Burleigh, local favourite Jamie Chipman and Renata crossing for tries to extend the advantage to 24-0 before Tonga A fly half Edmond Paea got the visitors on the board with a penalty just before the break.

Some quick hands by the Chiefs outfit resulted in a second try for second row Chipman in the 50th minute, with former NZ Sevens star Save Tokula adding a sixth try for the hosts before the hour mark.

Paea kicked another penalty, but the Chiefs Development side were in no mood to let up despite the rain continuing to bucket down, flankers Sam Cane and Taiasina touching down to bring up the half century.

There was still time, though, for the Tongans to delight the crowd by going the full length of the field for Paula Kaho to score a consolation try, Viliami Hakalo adding the conversion on the final hooter.

“The weather made it really hard for the boys, they are not used to the wet conditions but it was great to have a run and score that try for our supporters at the end,” admitted Tonga A captain Josateki Veikune.

Article courtesy of irb.com.
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Digicel Cup Rd 4 Team Lists 25 March, 2011 
PRC team lists - Samoa A v Tonga A 24 March, 2011 
Tonga's Palu suspended for two weeks 23 March, 2011 
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Warriors defeat Samoa A 22 March, 2011 
PRC team lists - Fiji Warriors v Samoa A 21 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Round Three Results 20 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Round 3 Tables 20 March, 2011 
Warriors keep PRC title chances alive 19 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup Rd 3 Team Lists 17 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup Rd 3 Team Lists - Nadroga v Macuata 16 March, 2011 
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2011 Digicel Cup Round 2 Tables 13 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup Round Two Results 12 March, 2011 
Waqaniburotu drafted into Warriors line-up 11 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 2 Team Lists - Nadi, Naitasiri and Navosa 11 March, 2011 
Warriors lose to Chiefs 10 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup - Rd 2 Team Lists 10 March, 2011 
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Tavua 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
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Player indiscipline to be addressed 09 March, 2011 
Macuata 2011 Squad List 09 March, 2011 
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IRB Statement Regarding the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union 08 March, 2011 
Players suspended 08 March, 2011 
Remington signs with Fiji Rugby 08 March, 2011 
Tonawai and Natua to join 7s camp 08 March, 2011 
Cakau and Kolinisau prepare for Hong Kong 07 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup - Rd 1 round-up 07 March, 2011 
Brothers start for Warriors 07 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 1 Tables 07 March, 2011 
Round One Table - U20s 07 March, 2011 
New Zealand sides too good in PRC 05 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Round One Results 05 March, 2011 
Naitasiri beats Nadroga in Digicel Cup opener 04 March, 2011 
Domoni named in Warriors starting XV 03 March, 2011 
Naitasiri stands down Tonawai 03 March, 2011 
Top teams clash in Digicel Cup opener 02 March, 2011 
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Warriors surrender unbeaten record 01 March, 2011 
Rugby family unites to support Christchurch 01 March, 2011 
La Vie Francaise - Fijian Style 01 March, 2011 
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